Coleman’s walk-off 2-run double lifts Rochester to win in Lee’s coaching debut
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
Rochester sophomore Kylie Coleman has played and loved softball since she was 4 years old.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, she had to wait a year to play her first varsity softball game. And then she had to live with the fact that Triton pitcher Lena Doll struck her out with a runner on third to end the bottom of the fifth inning at Fansler Field Tuesday.
So when she stepped up to the plate against Doll and Rochester trailing 3-2 in the seventh inning, she was ready.
And it took her just one pitch to fulfill everything for which she had waited as Coleman roped a two-run double to deep center field to score Kallie Watson and Emma Howdeshell and give the Lady Zs a 4-3 win.
“I was very anxious,” Coleman said. “Everything was high. I was just anxious and swung at it.”
Coleman’s hit gave RHS first-year coach Becky Lee a win in her first pre game as coach. It also made a winner out of Sydney Haughs. Also a sophomore, Haughs relieved starter Mya Musselman to start the sixth and pitched two scoreless innings.
Watson, another member of the sophomore brigade, started the bottom of the seventh with a bunt single.
Lee signaled for the bunt.
“She’s quick, and I knew that she had the ability to get there,” Lee said of Watson. “And I just wanted to see what we could do. She was a little bit out in front of it earlier in the game, and I saw that their defense was back, so I was like, ‘Hey, why not? I know she’s quick. She’s done it on us in practice, so let’s give her a go.’’”
Howdeshell then scorched a grounder to left-center field for a double that moved Watson to third.
Howdeshell had also picked off Maddy Doll in the top half of the inning from her catcher spot.
“She’s a great hitter,” Lee said. “She is very composed. I went and talked to her before her at-bat, and it wasn’t like the game was on the line. She had no pressure on her. She’s a very composed batter.”
That brought up Coleman, who cranked her liner to deep center.
“We’re going to be good,” Coleman said. “I can feel it. Our energy is amazing. … Becky, the coaches, in the dugout, everyone, as soon as we step on, a totally different atmosphere.”
Rochester took a 1-0 lead when freshman leadoff hitter Emma Sells walked, advanced to second on Watson’s grounder to first and advanced to third on Coleman’s grounder to second. She eventually scored on a wild pitch.
Musselman had a no-hitter with five strikeouts through three innings. But in the top of the fourth, Triton got to her for three runs.
Taren Yates singled and went to second on Abbey Viers’ bunt single. Jolie Groves laid down a sacrifice bunt, and when the throw to get her at first was wild for an error, Yates scored and Viers advanced to third. Groves then stole second.
Musselman struck out Addyson Viers swinging.
That brought up Lauren Snyder, who sacrificed right in front of the plate. Howdeshell threw to first to retire Snyder, but Abbey Viers raced home to give Triton a 2-1 lead.
Lena Doll’s RBI single made it 3-1.
RHS kept the deficit at two runs in the top of the fifth. Hannah Snyder reached on an infield single. One out later, Yates also reached on an infield single, but Hannah Snyder was out trying to advance all the way to third.
Abbey Viers then singled, and while Yates advanced from first to third, Watson was able to throw back to second and get Abbey Viers trying to advance on the throw.
“As a coach, that is so great to see because that means that they’re paying attention and they’re finishing the play,” Lee said. “They know that when they get that girl out at first the play is not over and they’re continuing to keep their heads up and be aware of the situation. So that’s a really proud thing for me to see. Very great on the girls’ part for their awareness.”
Haughs doubled to lead off the bottom of the sixth, and she later scored on Carlee Blackburn’s RBI single.
That set up Coleman to be the hero in the next inning.
“It is so much fun,” Coleman said. “I’m so glad to be back.”
Rochester 4, Triton 3
Triton 000 300 0 – 3 7 2
Rochester 100 001 2 – 4 8 2
WP – Sydney Haughs (2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K)
LP – Lena Doll (6+ IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 HBP, 6 K)
2B – Emma Howdeshell (RHS), Kylie Coleman (RHS), Sydney Haughs (RHS)